The day following the bandit attack, the school was closed. After finding out some information from the captured bandits, I was worried about the rest of the students.
Using Sophia’s ability, we were able to find out that their goal was to capture the students and their uniforms.
Then why did they attack them? According to the captured bandits, they believed they could kill a few to scare the rest of us. They’d end up capturing even more students this way.
There was apparently a man that hired them.
He would pay more based on the number of students brought to him.
In order to capture this man, we set up a trap where he was supposed to meet the bandits.
I don’t know if he found out that the people he hired had failed, or he never intended on paying them in the first place, but he never showed up.
So we don’t know what his main goal actually was.
Seeing as he tried to hurt our students, he’s clearly someone that is hostile towards our family.
There are quite a few people that come to mind when I try to think about who might hold a grudge against us. But there’s only one person I can think of that would do something like this.
Patrick. Formerly of the Rodwell family. His parents disowned him after he tried to pick a fight with our family.
I tried to confirm this with the bandits we captured, but the man who hired them kept his face hidden. They were able to confirm that he was around the same height and had a similar speech pattern as Patrick.
I can’t be sure, but the chance of it being Patrick is rather high.
Even if the person that hired them didn’t know it, they basically sent bandits after a member of the royal family. This problem is too big for just us to handle, so we decided to ask Crane for assistance.
If in fact, Patrick is the culprit, and the Grances family managed to capture him, this would have a negative impact on both the Gramp and Rodwell families.
In other words, if the culprit truly is Patrick, Crane needs to know just as much as we do.
For the time being, it was decided that we first need to increase security around the school. For that reason, I also requested that Eric and Crane send additional knights and soldiers to the school.
So the school has been temporarily closed for the day in order for the new security measures to be implemented — even so, I’m still at the school with Liz.
Apparently, Liz wanted to clean the school.
This gentle tone filled the otherwise silent classroom. Her angelic voice could easily be mistaken for a famous idol.
Yet, the only person behind me was a young girl.
“Hmm? What is it, Leo? Why are you staring at me?”
“I just feel it’s a little regrettable.”
“Why do I feel like you just said something horrible!?”
Her expression was really cute. I think I’m starting to form a bad habit of teasing her. As I laughed to myself, Liz just stared at me.
“…Leo, are you making fun of me again?”
“You really make interesting expressions when you’re being teased.”
“And you’re actually openly admitting to it!?”
“Well, it’s the truth.”
“I-It’s not like I wanted you to deny it…it’s just, why do you have to tease me? Couldn’t you just say my voice is pretty?”
“I was just thinking that your singing was beautiful and I could easily believe that there’s a famous singer in the room with me.”
“Is that so…thank you…very much.”
She looked down to hide her embarrassment.
“You really seem to like singing, Liz.”
“I do. It’s my dream to make everyone smile with my singing.”
“Oh…that’s quite a dream. But, in a way, haven’t you already achieved it? I’ve heard you’ve held concerts for hundreds of people before.”
“That’s true, but…none of them seem truly happy.”
Liz appeared lonely as she spoke softly to herself.
I thought back to when we were in Rizelheim. The Princess was singing in the town square, but she was forced to sing from a high balcony in order to keep her safe. The majority of the citizens that came to see her wouldn’t even be able to hear her from that high up. In a situation like that, I can understand why not all of them would be happy.
But, if I decide to say that to her, it will only make her mood drop even more. I just decided to tell her that I’m sure her dream will come true someday.
“By the way, have you finally made up with everyone?”
Liz suddenly looked miserable.
“Everyone was happy that you tried to help yesterday, right? I had to leave earlier than you to deal with the bandits, but they must’ve been.”
“No, it’s…I was sent to my dorm room and told to get some rest.”
“Well, I’m sure it’ll be fine once classes resume.”
“You think so…?”
Liz looked as if she was about to be overwhelmed by her own anxiety. Her situation with the other students has improved a lot since yesterday. Why does she seem so depressed?
“It’s just that…I finally understand how much trouble I was causing everyone.”
Is that what she’s worried about?
“Up until now, I’ve only been concerned about achieving results, and I never really took the time to understand how everything I was doing affected everyone else.”
“That’s…you were just desperately trying to avoid being forced into a marriage you didn’t want. It can’t be helped.”
I can understand that all too well. When I was confined to that small house, all I could think about was how to win my freedom.
It’s only now that I’ve become free that I’m able to really consider how my actions affect others.
“Thank you for saying that, but after everything that happened yesterday, I realize how hard everyone else has been working…I understand how much trouble I was causing them.”
She’s finally able to see how her actions have troubled the other students. Liz has become depressed after realizing this, but I think it’s a sign that she’s maturing.
“It should be obvious that I shouldn’t be acting however I please, but I wasn’t even able to notice such a simple thing. It’s no wonder everyone hates me.”
I tried to interject but Liz just showed a slight smile.
“It’s okay, you don’t have to worry about me. It may already be too late, but I’m at least going to try to make things better.”
“– It’s not too late.”
Another voice could be heard in the previously empty classroom. Amy stood at the entrance to the classroom.
“I’m sorry, I was listening in on you.”
While saying this, Amy slowly entered the classroom and stood before the confused Liz.
“Thank you for everything you did yesterday. Everyone is okay because you tried to protect us.”
“No, it was my job to protect you all and in the end, I couldn’t do anything. I had to be saved by Sophia….”
“Even so, Liz, you were the one standing there, doing your best to protect us. Thank you for that.”
“Eh, umm…you’re welcome.”
While looking slightly embarrassed, Liz began to brighten up. While Amy did the opposite.
“B-Before, when I said you were annoying….”
“…back then I was really only thinking about myself. I’ve seriously been reflecting on my actions.”
“No, that’s not what I meant…umm, actually, Akane and Trevor told me about your family’s circumstances….”
“Is that so….”
Liz was completely dumbfounded when Amy suddenly bowed her head to Liz.
“I’m sorry! I judged you when I knew nothing about you!”
“…so you can forgive me?”
“I should be the one asking for your forgiveness! If I were told to give up tailoring and become the mistress of some nobleman, I’d probably do exactly what you did!”
…I see. Amy is the daughter of a rich merchant family so she’s able to understand Liz’s feelings better than most. I continued to sit silently as they talked to each other.
I hope this means everyone can accept her now.
We still have about two and a half months until her brother will come to pick her up. We hadn’t found anything that she’s good at yet, but if we can get everyone else to help, I’m sure we can find something.
— However, the very next day….
It was now lunchtime on the first day back after the break. I was watching Liz speaking with Amy at one of the long desks in the classroom. They seemed to be really getting along well, but —
“Liz, I’ve come to get you!”
The crown prince of the country arrived.
Synopsis: Somewhere in the universe, there was an altar. On it, laid a bloody eye as big as the sun itself. It burst with light and bathed the entire star system in red.
"The aura of an ancestral artifact!" Someone's voice rose in surprise.
The Great Galactic Era had begun.